UK Health and Water

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Today, in the UK about seven in 10 deaths are related to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. Many of these are are largely preventable (if we agree to take the right steps to help), but while about 90% of our health care budget is spent treating such diseases, only about 3% of each £pound spent goes go prevention.

In 2019, health care spending in the UK is budgeted at £151.9 £billion, but a damning report (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11583856/Britain-ranked-28th-out-of-30-countries-in-health-rankings.html0 ranks Britain as 28th out of 30 for healthcare resources.

The UK has fewer doctors, nurses, hospital beds and crucial medical equipment than most other wealthy nations, and comparing Britain with 30 wealthy Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, it places it 28th on the league table when it comes to healthcare resources.The result of all of this is a ranking of considered life expectancy, that puts us 19th out of 30. Yet the report in the telegraph cites 2011 data which shows that GP’s in the UK are the best-paid in the OECD with self employed practitioners earning 3.6 times the average wage.

The U.S. spends far more on medical care than any other industrialised nation, but ranks 26 among 43 OECD countries in terms of life expectancy. Inequalities related to income and access to coverage exist across demographic lines, and it is impossible to deny that if you live in the east end of Glasgow and have reached the ripe old age of 65, you have done well.

This situation is ridiculous and while there is little that we the general public can do to change things, we can do much to help ourselves. Thus every Tuesday for the foreseeable future, we will publish an article for self help.

Today we are going to start by highlighting drinking water  

Sales of bottled water have reached huge numbers. The plastic waste that this creates has stirred many of us to look for a sustainable source for water that we can find in the tap. Drinking water in the UK is about as good as it gets and thus I can now see all sorts of  containers being used, but in this, I find it ridiculous now to see people in the media, film stars and celebrities and the like, lugging 1.5 and 2 litre containers around with them. Its as if drinking water every minutes of every day is so important that we will die if we don’t.

But where did this fad come from?  After all, many of my relations lived well into their 90’s but never do I remember then glugging the vast amounts of water that we see these days. My Granny drank lots of cups of tea and I do recall that she liked a glass of whisky, but water?

Of course you body needs water to survive, but unless you are completely dehydrated by overindulgence of alcohol (binge-drinking is becoming an ever greater problem in the UK) then it will tell you in its own way when its needed. Lots of water that we need comes from the food that we eat. That is why reasonably soon after having food, you will go to the bathroom and indeed before I started researching this article, it did make me wonder why this is.

So water drinking is important, but lets all be sensible about this. As with everything written in these articles, if you have any health worries, the your GP is the first and most important person that you should ask for advice, but accepting that you have the wisdom to do so, here are some things about water to consider:

  • Plasma, which makes up more than half of total blood volume, is about 93 percent water.
  • The logic in this is that if you don’t drink enough water, then the plasma gets thicker and it becomes harder for your heart to pump it round the miles of veins and arteries in your system.
  • Thus we recommend that you drink at reasonable amounts of water daily, although this can increase depending on your level of physical activity or the weather.
  • Of course alcohol and caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on your body.
  • Brain function – your brain works better when you are hydrated. Fluid loss is detrimental to memory loss and increased feelings of anxiety and tiredness.
  • Constipation – is a common problem increased by infrequent bowel movement. It is a risk factor especially in the young and the old. Of course eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables that provide the roughage that your body needs is important, as is cutting down or eliminating junk-food helps.
  • Hangovers – alcohol is diuretic, so if you are young or old, have a glass of water between drinks and have at least one glass before going to bed. Then you will cut your risk of headache and dry mouth.
  • Weight loss – Drinking plenty of water can help lose weight especially if you drink water half an hour before a meal.
  • Drink it cold – Your body will use more calories to heat the water to body temperature. But don’t flood the system with too much too quickly as this can lead to other complications. It is actually best to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.
  • The Skin – The fact is that it is the largest organ in the body. Its made up of millions of individual cells and skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water.
  • Wrinkles – Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. If you are not getting the right amount of water, then lack of hydration will result in making your skin dry, tight and flaky.
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